University Staff Leave

Procedure: University Leave

Purpose: Provide paid time off for illnesses, vacations, and personal reasons. The University Staff Leave Plan combines three types of leave - annual, sick, and family/personal - into a consolidated leave program, giving employees more flexibility in how they use their time off. In many cases, University Staff will be able to use their accumulated leave bank for more vacation days. No one will lose time already accrued. Classified staff who switch to University Staff status can bring their accrued annual leave into the University Staff System. For A&P Faculty who switch to University Staff status, the number of annual leave days could be higher than their current allotment, depending on the years of employment.

Leave Accrual and Carry-over

Years of Service Accrual Days per year Maximum Annual Leave Carry Forward/
Cash out after leaving
< 3 22 22
3-6 24 24
7-9 26 26
10-19 28 28
20+ 30 30

(The above tables do not include paid holidays, which range from 11 to 15 per year.)

Eligibility: Full and part-time (20 – 40 hours per week) salaried University Staff – Executive and Senior Administrative Staff, Managerial and Professional, and Operational and Administrative, and University Law Officers

Important: Employees hired effective July 1, 2006 and after are considered University Staff (excluding Faculty appointments). University Leave is allotted at the beginning of each new plan year (begins with the first day of the pay period which includes January 1 (known as Pay Period 1) and ends on the last day of the pay period preceding Pay Period 1 of the following year). New hires or re-hires will receive leave for the leave plan year in which they are (re)hired at a pro-rated rate based on the date of hire or re-hire. Part-time salaried employees earn leave at a rate proportionate to their part-time status.

Requesting Leave:

Non-exempt University Staff are required to track leave in 15 minute increments. Exempt University Staff are expected to fulfill the duties of their position regardless of hours worked. Exempt employees are paid an established annual salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their position regardless of hours worked. Therefore, exempt employees are afforded the option of tracking leave taken in increments of 4 hours (half days). Part-time exempt University Staff and exempt University Staff working an alternate work schedule are afforded this same privilege of tracking leave taken in increments of one-half of their daily work schedules.

Employee’s responsibility:

  • Inform supervisor according to departmental procedures of request for University Leave and time away from job (as far in advance as possible)
  • Manage time away from work, time worked, and leave usage in a way that demonstrates accountability to the entities (taxpayers, Board of Visitors, fees paid by students/faculty/staff, grants, etc.) funding the employee’s salary
  • If the absence is for illness, inform supervisor daily according to departmental procedure of status
  • Inform supervisor of any change of plans that affect the leave request
  • Provide verification of illness if required by department

Supervisor’s/Department’s responsibility:

  • Approve the use of University Leave and time away from job
  • Give prior notification to employee if verification is needed for an illness
  • Have employee, timekeeper, supervisor, or designated representative enter leave on the on-line timecard by selecting the leave type – University Leave
  • Make corrections by submitting a paper timesheet to the UHR Leave Center
  • Manage staff’s time away from work so that business needs are met, ensuring accountability for the expenditure of salary dollars

  • Provide information and counseling regarding University Leave to employee and department
  • Verify and ensure the appropriateness of supporting documentation
  • Ensure that time and leave are entered appropriately

General Leave Details

For each employee, the entire annual accrual will be available for use at the start of each leave year, prior to actually accruing the hours. This provides employees with maximum flexibility in their use of leave time. If an employee leaves the University during the course of the year, the time used and the time accrued are reconciled. Leave accrued, but not used, is paid to the employee in the pay period following the last day of employment. Leave used but not accrued is either subtracted from the employee's final paycheck, or invoiced through Accounts Receivable if the amount owed to the University exceeds the net amount of the final paycheck.

There is only one type of leave, so all leave is available for carry forward.

In the University Staff Leave Plan the maximum number of days that could be carried forward is equal to one year’s accrual amount. The carry-forward hours serve as the beginning balance on to which the next year's annual leave time is added.

For those Classified staff who move into the University Staff HR Plan with annual leave balances in excess of the employee’s carryover limit in the leave plan, the excess amount will not be lost. The excess balance will be retained in a separate leave bank that will remain available for use or for payout upon termination.

The University Staff leave program will pay University Staff for those "use-or-lose" hours at 50 percent of their value once the amount of annual leave goes beyond the maximum hours allowed for carry forward. To receive this cash-out, employees must have used a minimum of 10 days during the leave year. This minimum usage requirement is intended to encourage employees to take some time off to relax and rejuvenate.

Cash-out payment may be received as taxable income or it may be deposited into a tax-deferred savings plan.

The University Staff Leave Plan will continue other categories of leave from the State system, including: Compensatory & "Comp Special" Leave, Recognition Leave, Civil and Work-Related Leave (was Administrative Leave), Educational Leave, Emergency/Disaster Leave, Leave to Donate Bone Marrow or Organs, School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave, Leave Without Pay, and Military Leave. These types of leave do not "accrue" an as employee entitlement but are available for use as needed. For example, if an employee must serve on jury duty or volunteers for the Day of Caring, that time is allowed in addition to the University Staff Leave Plan and is not deducted from leave.

Holidays are awarded separately and are not included in the annual leave accrual.

FAQ:

Q: I have an Exempt employee who is consistently gone from the workplace for 2 hours daily, taking advantage of the requirement that leave for Exempt employees is tracked in increments of 4 hours or more. What steps can I do to remedy the situation?

A: UHR has recently offered a procedural clarification on this topic, indicating that the 4 hour leave increments are granted to Exempt University staff, and that both the employee and manager have a responsibility to ensure that this is not abused. Under this scenario, we recommend that the supervisor clarify the expectations around attendance and performance and inform the employee that the unscheduled absences are excessive and must be improved. If the problem persists, the supervisor has multiple options, which includes asking for all leave requests in advance. In cases where conversations have not improved the situation, the supervisor is advised to contact Human Resources to explore other options, which may include tracking leave differently and/or discipline.